The new year is upon us! It almost feels like just yesterday we were saying, “Hey, it’s almost Christmas!”, and yet here we are, already into the first week of February 2011. Not only have we crossed the threshold, but it seems like we’re running through it! I don’t know about you, but year after year, I’ve found time to be speeding up gradually more and more. I hardly want to know what 2015 will be like…
This last year, I and many people I know went through some major lifestyle and belief changes. I’m glad to say that I have finally fully come back from that, and am now moving forward. It hasn’t been the quickest evolutionary process, but it’s certainly impacted me a lot more positively than I had originally anticipated.
The biggest cause for a smoother transition and changes has been my firm belief in God as my Anchor through these times. Instead of questioning whether or not God is real, as some have, I’ve chosen to question everything that does not support that God is real. I have felt Him in my life far too many times to count or keep track of, and that is what has cemented Him into my mode of operation and my conscience. He is why I believe what I believe. To abandon the only Thing that truly has not failed me, in search of experimental half-truths and momentary New Age fads, or even traditional agnosticism, would not be fair to myself. If I cannot be true to who I am in the face of doubt, I will not survive. In the end, if I choose to believe in only what I can see and feel, then I am all I have. And if I am all I have, it behooves me to preserve my biological support and security in What has kept me alive and growing for all of my years. The alternative would be like kicking out the foundational pillars of my home.
This last year I have been lucky to have done a lot of traveling. Being on my own, instead of surrounded by my usual group of friends and family, has also been one of the principal gears in the turning of my life on to this new path. Taking full responsibility for each of my actions, and knowing that I will directly be affected by each thing I do or say, has changed the way I operate. I know that if I work hard enough, I will reap the benefits immediately. But I also know that if I work too hard, and run myself into the ground, I will miss out on those benefits. When I have no one else telling me what to do, instead of losing my bearings, they become so much clearer. Making up my own rules for my life and what I do has made my dependence on God instrumental. It’s been only Him and me in this together. Of course, throughout this last year, there have been other people – loved ones and caring friends – who have helped me, but what I mean is that in the end, the buck always stopped with me and God. If you are the only one to answer to in your life, why not start making rules that benefit you, rather than hurt you?
Another major contributing factor to an even turnover was changing my mindsets. You see, in the past I had attached the notion of God and Jesus to abstinence from all the things in life I actually enjoyed. So, if I would start to enjoy these things, then I wasn’t being a “good Christian”. But now I’ve learned that it’s okay for me to want to have nice things.
It’s okay to want a beautiful house.
It’s okay to be proud of my accomplishments.
It’s okay to take time off for myself.
If God is Love, as the Bible says, then why would He be behind the feeling of being unloved? It’s okay to love myself.
Changing the way I believe in God does not mean I change my belief in God.
Some people stand out from the crowd. When you meet them, you can tell immediately that there’s something different about them, right? But what is different? They go to the same school as that sad, depressed teenager; they attend the same church as that embittered old lady that lives next door; they are part of the same hobby club as that rude woman who is always yelling at her children. So how is this one person different? Could it be that they have found God in a different way? Maybe they have experienced Him and His love in a way unique to them. They still believe in God; they still want to love and obey Him, but they have chosen the good part in learning of Him from His presence rather than from traditional teachings and translations. They have changed the way that they believe in Him.
Everyone is different. Each person has something to give. But we also each have something to hang on to, to keep for ourselves. You were designed by a blueprint unique only to you. That means that what works for someone else may not work for you, and vice versa. So, wouldn’t you say that it’s vitally important for you to find your own path, rather than piggybacking on someone else’s dreams? Find your own beliefs, your own results, and your own lighted way, by making your own choices. This could change your life, if you let it.
On a practical note:
There’s a terrible speech habit most of us have in substituting vague explanations for specific words and descriptions. Such as saying “they did it”, “someone said…”, or “everyone knows”, etc. As I said earlier, one of the new things I’m changing in my life is taking responsibility for what I believe. I am switching out my old vocabulary to support this change by using the words “me” and “I”, instead of “you” and “they”. So, for instance, in the past I would have said something like, “You don’t get to where you’re going by sitting still.” I would now say, “I won’t get to where I’m going by sitting still.” Try it yourself. Make it personal. That’s how inner change is born.
So, I guess my resolutions for this year would be:
1.) To find out who I am, and what my specific purpose in life is.
2.) To depend fully upon God and Him alone for everything.
3.) To be a helpmeet and strength to my close friends and loved ones. To concentrate my full time and attention on those who matter most to me and those who empower me as well.
4.) To grow and learn physically, as well as spiritually, by leaps and bounds. I will do this by studying those things that will add value to my life.
5.) To invest heavily in my future.
I pray you have found your peace too. Have a wonderful year!